The Brilliance of Illness

It’s hard to be brilliant when you are sick. Remember when you were a kid and became ill, and your mother made a bed on the couch, turned on your favorite cartoons, made you chicken soup and told you everything was going to be better soon? Is it wrong that right now I wish I had a big lap to curl up in?

I just returned from a fabulous and much-needed vacation. I should be feeling rested and rejuvenated, instead, I came down with an eye infection and a cold just as the trip was ending.  I’m home trying to focus through blurry eyes and a foggy head on the hundreds of e-mails that demand my attention and the half-finished work I need to get back to.

See that’s the hard part about being an entrepreneur–there’s no one to hand the work off to when we are sick or hurt or sad or just plain tired. It’s all on us, all the time. And as professionals, we never want to let anyone down or do less than our best work. But my friend always tells me, we can’t take care of others, until we take care of ourselves. She’s right, of course, but that’s easier said than done, especially when there are deadlines to be met and bills to be paid.

It’s moments like this when I wish I had a coworker to give me a hug and tell me go home and get some rest, she’ll take over. But I don’t. So if my inner “little girl” is needing some TLC right now, I guess I’m the only one who can provide it. So maybe I’ll hit delete on a bunch of those e-mails that are really not that important and go take a nap.

And who knows, if I ease up on myself a bit, maybe something interesting will happen. Maybe in my fevered state, I’ll have some bizarre dream that would make a great short story. Or my biggest stroke of genius will come from my addled mind. Or maybe not.

The point is, whether I’m being brilliant or not, the world will keep turning. We’re not as important as we think we are. And if it takes an illness to bring that point home, so be it.


Scroll to top